Luke 18:16-17 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Children gravitated to Jesus. Parents placed their little ones in His arms. And the disciples shooed them away.
Go away! We have places to go, people to see, important things to do, a kingdom to advance. These children can’t help with any of that. They’re a distraction! They slow us down!
Jesus pointed to the children and told His friends that His kingdom – God’s rule and reign on earth as it is in heaven – belonged to those who were like kids somehow.
Not childish. But childlike.
Night after night, for ten years now, I’ve begged for the lives of impoverished children. I ask those who would like to sponsor a child to raise their hand. “A volunteer will hand you a sponsorship packet.”
I survey the crowd from stage and pray. And I see the same thing night after night. Little ones all over the room immediately raise their hand…sometimes both hands!
And dad tells them to put it down. Always the father.
So grown up and logical, skeptical, measured, practical, cautious, and “wise.”
When my oldest boy was five he wanted to a sponsor a child. I asked him if he could pitch in any money to help out with that. He thought about it…
And then he pulled a gallon bag from a kitchen drawer, rushed off to his room, and filled it with Matchbox cars. He bounded out the front door and went door to door. “I’m selling cars for poor kids,” he told all the neighbors.
A short time later he returned home with a bag full of money.
A child is spontaneous, sensitive, and most of all simple.
To my boy generosity was simpler than it often is for me: Somebody doesn’t have enough. I can help.
And the kingdom came. A boy in Burkina Faso got to go to school, see a doctor, drink clean water, got to bed full, read a bible and hear about how much Jesus loves him.
Abba Father. I overcomplicate your will for my life and this world. I hesitate when I should should run fearlessly. I worry when I should trust. I’m serious when I should enjoy. Give me the faith of a child. Amen.